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A Guide To A Weekend Camping Trip In The Lake District

A Guide To A Weekend Camping Trip In The Lake District

Fancy getting away to the Lakes for a weekend of camping and adventure ? Unsure where to stay ? Unsure what to see or what to do ? Then look no further because in this blog i’m going to be going through a detailed guide that you can use to help you have a really good time when visiting this amazing national park. Whether you live in the UK or overseas, this place is definitely worth visiting. In this post I will be covering, how to get here, places to stay, what to see, activities to do and where to eat and drink. I hope you enjoy this post and find it helpful for your own personal plans, make sure to follow me on facebook and instagram @theredbackpacktraveller, and also subscribe to my newsletter if its not too much to ask, that way you will be able to see when i’m realising new travel plans on my blog for you to read and help you out. With all that being said let’s jump into it!

Getting here

Ok, so starting with people travelling from overseas, the best airport to fly to would be Manchester International as this is the closest airport to the national park. The Lake District is located 80 miles from Manchester Airport and takes roughly 1 hour 20 minutes to get there by car, once you’re out of Manchester you can then follow the M6 North until you see signs directing you to Kendal and then continue to follow signs to Windermere and then Ambleside, cars can be rented from Manchester airport so id definitely recommend doing this to make your travels easier, make sure to book a sat nav as well to help you find your way there. In terms of address’ to use for the sat nav, I would suggest using the address for Ambleside (1-3 Rydal Rd, Ambleside LA22 9AN), this is a good location to start within the Lakes and all other locations can be easily accessed from here. Trains are also available to get you to the Lake District from Manchester airport, from the airport you want to catch a train to Windermere, depending on the time, the train could take from 1 hour 25 minutes to 2 hours 25 minutes with either 1 change (Oxenholme Lake District) or 2 changes (Preston / Oxenholme Lake District), check the train times online and see which is the best before booking, prices for a return ticket to Windermere from Manchester airport are between £20 and £50, again depending on the time you catch the train. From Windermere train station you can then either walk or catch a taxi to where you are staying.

For best prices on flights and car hire, I would definitely recommend using Skyscanner:

www.skyscanner.com

For Train times and prices, check out the Trainline website:

www.thetrainline.com

For Taxis in the Lake District, check out Lakeside Taxis:

www.lakesidetaxis.com

For people travelling from within the UK, again you want to use the address for Ambleside (1-3 Rydal Rd, Ambleside LA22 9AN) when using sat nav, or follow the M6 North or South (depending where you are visiting from) until you see signs directing you to Kendal and then continue to follow signs to Windermere and then Ambleside, from here you should then easily be able to reach where you are staying. If you are travelling by train, you want to catch a train to Oxenholme Lake District and then from here a train to Windermere, depending on where you are staying you can then either walk or catch a taxi to your destination. Obviously prices will vary depending on where you are travelling from so make sure to check the Trainline website before booking to find the best times and prices.

For Train times and prices, check out the Trainline website:

www.thetrainline.com

For Taxis in the Lake District, check out Lakeside Taxis:

www.lakesidetaxis.com


Where to stay

In the Lakes there is a variety of great campsites available, that being said there are some that stand out from the rest in my opinion, in this post I will take you through my favourite campsite in the Lake District, where I like to stay the majority of the time I visit. I will be following up on this blog with another post, where I will be going through my top picks for places to stay in the Lake District, this separate post will cover all accommodations such a pods, yurts and hotels as well as campsites, so make sure to keep on eye out for it in the near future.

Great Langdale Campsite

Great Langdale

Great Langdale

They don’t call this place great for no reason, the outstanding surrounding scenery, good facilities and access to nearby walks and adventures make this place my top pick when staying in the lakes. The facilities available onsite include two toilet and shower blocks that I believe have been upgraded recently, which makes showering a lot more comfortable after a day of hiking and exploring, other facilities are a washing up area and a drying room which is great to have if you get your clothes and boots muddy. Also available on the site is a children’s play area and bouldering wall, which makes the campsite a lot more fun and family friendly. In terms of supplies, there is a shop onsite that sells food, drinks and camping supplies, just incase you forgot to bring anything with you. If you want a nice cooked meal and a refreshing pint then there is the Old Dungeon Ghyll (5 minute walk) and Sticklebarn (10 minute walk), both places serve nice food and drink so make sure to make a visit to them if the old camping stove decides to break during your stay. Also available at the campsite is electrical hook up for Motorhomes, Glamping Pods (great for winter stays) and Tipis and Yurts if you are looking more towards a luxury style of camping. As well as all the great facilities available here, one of the main reasons to stay would be down to the incredible scenery, nothing beats waking up in the morning with a view of the Langdale Pikes from your tent. The site has a few rules in place, the main ones being, everyone must keep quiet between the hours of 11pm and 7am, fires are not permitted (but camping stoves and disposable barbecues are), dogs must be kept on a lead and cleaned up after promptly, all other rules in regards to booking, smoking, etc. can be found on their website which I will link below. If you enjoy orienteering then make sure to grab a map from reception for £2.50 to take part in the course around the campsite. There are also some great walks accessible from the campsite, Elterwater and Skelwith bridge is best suited to those looking for and easy walk with some stunning scenery, whereas the Langdale pikes is definitely a hike I would recommend for those looking for more of a challenge with some of the most rewarding views in the entire national park.

Great Langdale Campsite

Great Langdale Campsite

Prices for Tents

  • Small Tent - £10 / £12 / £16 per night (depending on time of year)

  • Medium Tent - £10 / £15 / £22 per night (depending on time of year)

  • Large Tent - £10 / £18 / £26 per night (depending on time of year)


Prices for Camping pods

  • Standard - £30 - £60 per night (depending on time of year)

  • Family - £35 - £65 per night (depending on time of year)

  • Plus Pod - £55 - £85 per night (depending on time of year)


Prices for Campervan - £11 / £15 / £20 per night (depending one time of year) (+electric £4 per night)


Activities -

  • Orienteering

  • Hiking

  • Cycling


Address - Great Langdale, Near Ambleside LA22 9JU

Phone - 015394 32733

Ratings -

  • Location - ✰✰✰✰✰

  • Facilities - ✰✰✰✰

  • Activities - ✰✰✰✰

  • Food and Drink (nearby pubs) - ✰✰✰✰

  • Value for money - ✰✰✰✰✰

  • Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

Activities

  1. Hiking

The Lake District is filled with incredible hikes, some being much more difficult than others, but one things for certain, they all provided some stunning scenery. Id be here forever if I listed all my favourite Lake District hikes in this blog, so instead I’m going to list the two that I feel stand tall above the rest.


Blea Tarn and Side Pike

Blea Tarn

Blea Tarn

If you’re staying at Great Langdale Campsite then you don’t even need to drive anywhere to start this hike, you can simply pick up the trail from the campsite itself. If you’re not staying at Great Langdale Campsite then the you want to drive to the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub and park on the carpark there, a full day on this car park will cost you £6.50, from Old Dungeon Ghyll car park you can then cross back over the bridge and follow the road to Great Langdale Campsite. At the campsite you will see signs directing you Blea Tarn, follow the path to the back of the campsite near the shower block and you will see a gate that takes you through into the woods, follow this path all the way through the woods and up the hill, the hill is a bit steep but it doesn’t take long to get to the top. Once on top of the hill, you will see Blea Tarn in front of you, cross the road and head through the gate, you can then follow the path around Blea Tarn. Make sure to branch off from the main path and head through the trees every now and again to get some great views of the Tarn. Keep following the path around the Tarn and eventually you will get to gate that takes you out onto the main road, from here you can make your way back to start point of Blea Tarn, before you get back to the start of the Tarn you will see a stile on your right that takes you onto a path and leads to the top of Side Pike, this is where the walk gets a little more challenging so if your looking for an easier walk then you can just keep following the road back around to the start of the Tarn and head back down the hill too the campsite. If you chose to hike up Side Pike (which id highly recommend) you can follow the path after climbing over the stile, the path is quite steep but the climb is only short, once at the top of the hill, you will see another Stile on your left, climb over the stile and continue to follow the path, soon you will see a tight gap to squeeze through, you will have to take you bags off to fit through as its a bit tight, if you don’t fancy doing the squeeze then there is an alternate route towards the left hand side. After squeezing through the gap, the path will then continue up the Pike, you will then come you a fork in the path, head right and follow the path to the peak of Side Pike, from here you will get some amazing panoramic views of the the Langdale Pikes and Blea Tarn, make sure you cameras charged for this! After spending some time at the top you can then head back down the way you came, when you reach the fork in the path again, head right and follow the path down, beware this section gets pretty steep and rocky so take your time. After following the path down you will eventually come back to the gate at the start point of Blea Tarn, from here you turn right and head back down the hill to Great Langdale Campsite. Blea Tarn is definitely a walk worth doing and is suitable for people of all abilities, if you want to push yourself a little then you should definitely take the hike to the top of Side Pike, there are some scrambles to the top of Side Pike so make sure you are prepared with appropriate foot ware.

Start Point Address - Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, Great Langdale, Ambleside LA22 9JY

Duration - 2 - 3 hours

Difficulty -

  • Blea Tarn - Easy / Moderate

  • Side Pike - Difficult

Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰✰


Cat Bells

Cat Bells

Cat Bells

This Hike is definitely a Lake District favourite, a little bit of a challenge but definitely worth it. Located in the north western part of the Lake District, this hike gives you some incredible views of Derwent Water. Starting from Lingholm estate, you can follow the pathway past the Alpaca paddock and through the forest, keep following the pathway and head through a couple of gates until you get to a road. Once you reach the road you will then see signs for Cat Bells, follow the road and then take a left onto the pathway at the start point of the Cat Bells hike. The path will then start to ascend and snake up the hill, the hill is a little steep so make sure to take regular breaks so you don’t get too tired. Keep following the path up the hill and it won’t be long until you start getting some views of Derwent Water. At the top of the hill the pathway levels out for a little bit before it starts to ascend again, this part gets a little tricky and requires a bit of scrambling so take your time. After reaching the top of the first scramble the pathway will then level out again before ascending into another scramble, continue to scramble and eventually you will reach the top of Cat Bells, it seems like a lot of work but its definitely worth it, the pathway is really easy to follow and is pretty much straight forward the whole way, just make sure to take your time on the scrambles. When you reach the top you will have some of the best views of Derwent Water and the surrounding mountains so make sure to take the time to absorb it all and get some great photos, maybe even bring a packed lunch and eat your dinner whilst admiring the view. When you are ready for heading back down, its literally a case of retracing you steps back down from where you came, the path is very straight forward so its pretty difficult to get lost, the scrambles can be a little more tricky whilst heading down so again just make sure to take your time. When get back to the car park at Lingholm estate, head inside the cafe and treat yourself to a bit of coffee and cake! Overall this hike is a little challenging but well worth the effort, if you’re heading up to the northern part of the Lake District then make sure to put this hike on your list of things to do.

Start Point Address - Lingholm Lodge, Portinscale, Keswick CA12 5TZ

Difficulty - Moderate

Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

2. Via Ferrata (Honister Slate Mine)

Via Ferrata Honistor Mine

Via Ferrata Honistor Mine

If you’re looking to get that adrenaline pumping then make are sure to add this to your list of things to do in the Lakes. Honister Slate Mine Via Ferrata is a climbing adventure that will take you high above the ground along the side of a steep mountain edge, this is a great activity for them thrill seekers and is suited to people of most ages and abilities. As well as the the Via Ferrata, Honister Mine also offers other activities such as infinity bridge, mine tours and climb the mine, these activities will keep you more than occupied as well as getting you adrenaline going.

For more information on the Via Ferrata and Honister Slate Mine, visit their website:

www.honistorslatemine.com


3. Water Sports

Coniston Water

Coniston Water

If you are looking to get off land and into the water then there’s no better place to go than the Lake District, with 16 bodies of water to choose from I’m sure one of them will be exactly what you are looking for. Most places have hire shops for you to rent gear but some of them you may need your own stuff, regardless of whether you need your own gear or not, the place I would recommend is Coniston Water, here you can rent all kinds of gear such as Canoes, Kayaks, SUP’s and much more from the rental shop. Coniston has some incredible surrounding views for you to admire as you paddle through the water, this lake is also a lot quieter than Windermere so you don’t have to worry too much about boats and ferries. If you’re looking to fill a full day on the water then I would suggest paddling from the Blue bird cafe down to peel island at the opposite end of the lake, here you can stop off and spend some time relaxing before paddling back, I’d suggest bringing a packed lunch and a flask so you can have some food and a nice cup of tea on the island before paddling back.

To book your gear, visit the Coniston boating centre website:

www.conistonboatingcentre.com


4. Mountain Biking

No matter where you are in the Lakes, you’re not far away from a good MTB trail. My recommendation would be to purchase an OS map and plan your own routes as there is and unlimited amount of single track available in the Lake District. If your not feeling mapping out your own route and fancy getting on a well sign posted trail then there are a couple of trail centres I’d recommend visiting.

Grizedale Forest

Grizedale Forest MTB

Grizedale Forest MTB

Grizedale forest is a great place to visit for a day of mountain biking if you’re staying in more of the south/central Lake District, a good bit of technical single trail and some nice scenery as you cruise down the mountain is enough to make for epic day out on the bike. There are 10 different routes to choose from for people of different abilities and fitness, these trails range from nice flat family cycle paths to fast technical black trails for the more experienced riders. Bikes, protection and maps are available to hire at the Mountain Bike shop at the forest centre, so you don’t even need to worry about purchasing your own gear. If youre looking for a great day out on the bike, this is place you should definitely consider visiting.

To book a bike and equipment, visit the Grizedale Mountain Bike website:

www.grizedalemtb.com


Whinlatter Forest

Whinlatter Forest MTB

Whinlatter Forest MTB

If you’re staying in the northern region of the Lakes, then Whinlatter forest is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for a good ride. A great forest ride with some fast flowy sections and with 4 different trails to choose you can easily fill a day or two here depending on how much energy you have. At Whinlatter forest there is one blue trail, two red trails and one black trail, so there’s something for people of all abilities, whether you are going for a nice easy cruise or fancy getting technical this place has got a trail to suite your style of riding. Bikes and protection can be rented from the cycle shop at Whinlatter forest centre, so you don’t need to worry if your don’t have any gear. This is definitely a trail I’d recommend, so if you fancy a good ride make sure to get yourself to Whinlatter forest.

To find out more about Mountain Biking at Whinlatter forest, visit the website below:

www.whinlattermtb.com


5. Go Ape

Go Ape

Go Ape

A great day for people of all ages, I honestly couldn’t recommend Go Ape enough, climb, jump and zipline through the trees as you tackle the obstacle course high above the ground. There are two Go Apes located in the Lake District, one at Grizedale Forest and one at Whinlatter forest, both are just as good as each other and are a great way to spend one of your days in the Lakes. The staff are very friendly and helpful and teach you everything there is to know before letting you loose on the course. Whether you’re a group of adults or a family with young kids, Go Ape is definitely an activity that is entertaining for everyone. Activities available at Go Ape are, Tree Top Adventure, Zip Trekking and Forest Segway.

To book your adventure, visit the Go Ape website:

www.goape.com


6. Walking with Wolves

Walking With Wolves, Predatory Experience

Walking With Wolves, Predatory Experience

If you like animal adventures then you will love the Walking with Wolves experience. On this adventure you will be able to walk one of natures fiercest predators around the Lake District, don’t worry though the Wolves are very well trained and you’re in safe hands with the guides at Predatory experience. The groups on the experience are kept small which makes the it feel much more personal and enjoyable, this is something you definitely won’t forgot so make sure to add this to your list if you’re looking for an animal adventure. Also available at Predatory Experience is Fox experiences, Eagle experiences, Hawk walks and Falcon tuition, definitely somewhere to visit if you're an animal lover.

To book your predatory experience, visit the website below:

www.predatoryexperience.com


Where to eat and drink

There are some cracking places to eat and drink in the Lake district, pretty much any pub, cafe or restaurant will cook you up a nice meal, that being said there are definitely some that I would highly recommend you visit whilst staying in the Lakes.

The Apple Pie Takeaway

The Apple Pie Takeaway

The Apple Pie Takeaway - Ambleside

Nothing beats sitting down after a day of hiking and treating yourself to an apple pie and a cup of tea, at the apple pie take away I can guarantee that this is some of the best apple pie you will ever try, and no i’m not exaggerating. As well as apple pie this place also serves a wide selection of baked goods and hot cooked meals at a good price. This is somewhere that has quickly become one of my favourite places to eat in the Lakes and its rare we take a trip without stopping off here for a bite to eat. Whether you’re staying in Ambleside or just passing through, you need to make sure you take the time to stop off here for some food, you won’t be disappointed.

Prices - Moderate

Food - ✰✰✰✰✰

Drink - ✰✰✰✰

Service - ✰✰✰✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰✰✰

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

Address - Rydal Rd, Ambleside LA22 9AN



Blue Bird Cafe - Coniston Water

A great place to have lunch with some nice views of Coniston water, the Blue Bird Cafe has a great selection of hot and cold food at a fair price, this place is ideal after a day of paddling on Coniston water, if you get some nice weather you also have the option to sit outside in the sun with a nice cold beer.

Prices - Moderate

Food - ✰✰✰✰

Drink - ✰✰✰✰

Service - ✰✰✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰✰

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰

Address - Lake Rd, Coniston LA21 8AN



Fell Bites - Glenridding

Located in Glenridding at the bottom of Ullswater, this cafe is an excellent place to get a bite to eat after tackling a challenging hike such as Helvellyn. At fell bites you will find a variety of hot and cold food as well as a great selection of cakes, I’d highly recommend the salted caramel cake. Fell bites has a nice cosy feeling to it which you just can’t beat after being out on the trail, whether you’re looking for a filling meal or a light bite, you will definitely find something to satisfy you tastebuds here.

Prices - Moderate

Food - ✰✰✰✰✰

Drink - ✰✰✰✰

Service - ✰✰✰✰✰

Value for Money - ✰✰✰✰✰

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

Address - Glenridding, Penrith CA11 0PD



Fizzy Tarte - Bowness on Windermere

Fancy a cocktail or two ? Then you need to visit the Fizzy Tarte. Located in Bowness on Windermere, this place has become another personal favourite of mine and a must visit when I’m in the Lakes. Here you will find a selection of tasty food and even tastier drinks, if your a cake lover then you need to book yourself onto the afternoon tea, this way you will great selection of cakes to treat yourself with, this is also a great idea for a birthday present.

Prices - Moderate / High

Food - ✰✰✰✰✰

Drink - ✰✰✰✰✰

Service - ✰✰✰✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰✰

Overall rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

Address - 18 Ash St, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3EB

The Lake District Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

This place is without a doubt one of my favourite places to visit, even after years of coming here I just never seem to get bored. There is so much to see and do for people of all interests and abilities, anyone who decides to visit the Lake District will not be disappointed. I’d encourage anyone living in the UK or overseas to put the Lakes on their list of places to visit, whether you’re staying for a weekend or a week, you won’t struggle find things to keep yourself entertained. Putting all activities aside, this place is just simply stunning, the mountains, lakes and forest create some incredible scenery that you just don’t get anywhere else, an absolute dream of a location for photographers, campers and adventurers.

























































































































































































































































































































Places To Stay In UK National Parks

Places To Stay In UK National Parks

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